Crime is one of the most commonly occurring phenomena in any given society in the world. Crime has been termed as any behavior that violates established law and norms and is contrary to societal expectations (Lectric Law Library Para 2). Criminologists have done research studies to try and establish the causes of crime and the reasons why people commit crimes.
Some of the proposed factors for the occurrence of crime and why people violate the law include economic factors such as economic inequalities that lead to poverty. Social and cultural factors (social and family laws) have also been proposed as possible causes of crime.
Other than the level of education, criminologists argue that crime can be learned and that the environment may expose one to crime. Psychologists have also argued that there are some psychological deficiencies that may lead people to engage in deviant behavior (Melkonyan 2011). Although there are commonly occurring factors for the causation of crime, debate is still ranging on the real reasons for the trends and rates of crime in different parts of the world.
There has also been efforts to describe measure required to eradicate crime through managing its causes and crime (deviant behavior) itself, to punishing lawbreakers. Some of these methods have been successful while others have not. There is need to highlight the social cultural factors of crime and describe the necessary positive measures to prevent the occurrences of crime.
The leading causes of crime in the society are a combination of social cultural factors in the society. Society can thus be blamed for leading people to commit crime as it exposes individuals to environments that make it necessary to commit crime.
Certain norms in the society have to be adhered to and as such this makes people to remain depended on them for pleasure. Such dependency can therefore lead to an addiction on these behaviors and as such, the behaviors become part of everyday life. Such routinely harmless activities as taking a cold shower for temporary relief and relaxation may soon turn to dependency on the action.
When the activity is skipped the body craves for it or any of its alternatives (Shannonhouse 1). Extended exposure to these cultural practices however leads to stimulus satiation and as such, the body demands for a stronger alternative for reprieve. Should the body be denied this reprieve then a severe medical condition could ensue.
At this point, an individual may turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of reprieve and thus become dependent on them (Shannonhouse 1). Dependency on such drug ands alcohol leads to addition. Such drugs lead to acute pleasure and may also cause intoxication to a person. Such intoxication is dangerous as it can impair judgment and make the person’s overrate their abilities.
This false self-concept may lead one to commit crime (Shannonhouse 2).Therefore some harmless societal behaviors are the unseen factors that lead to a person to addiction and dependency on abused substances for temporary pleasure. What may appear as the search of pleasure could in fact end up as the cause for suffering.
Criminals can also be victims of the social environments in which they live in and as such, remain exposed or even forced to become criminals to survive in those environments. Personal relationships and the people around a person may lead one to commit crime.
This is true according to the convictions of Lord Longford, a Christian reformer and a prisoners’ rights activist who fought for the reformation of the British prison laws. Lord Longford in his defense of Myra Hindley, argues that she was a victim of her lovers criminal nature and manipulative tendencies as such was not as guilty as her lover and serial killer Mr. Brady (Stanley 1).
The argument in this and many other quarters are that Miss Hindley criminal nature was influenced by her association with Mr. Brady. According to Longford, this is how many criminals are made and thus they deserve a second chance (Stanley 2).
From the above arguments, it can be deduced that these factors exist by the mere occurrence of the vulnerability of the human beings. Human beings are vulnerable to their social and physical environments as well as their biological make up. Myra Hindley was vulnerable towards the influence of her lover and partner in crime.
These factors that lead to crime can be altered positively thereby helping to reduce crime rates in the society. According to Longford the separation of the victim of crime from the agent of crime is enough to delineate learned crime. This is because the factors that lead to a person committing crime have been severed and a person naturally reforms back to their usual selves. As such, criminals should be released upon sufficient proof that the relationships that lead to their committing crime have been severed completely.
Accompanying this is the spiritual principle of forgiveness, a conviction the staunch Catholic Lord Longford held. As s such Myra Hindley ought to have been forgiven and released on parole: her lover did not qualify for parole, meaning that there was no chance of reunion. This is a way of reforming a convicted criminal who deserve a second chance (Stanley 1).
Dependency and addiction to drugs is not always a bad thing as it can be used for other purposes other than the search for short-lived pleasure. Addiction to such substances as tea or steak soup may be use for medical reasons and as such not an entirely occurrences.
As such a person may only crave for such things only when in medical condition that demands their intake Shannonhouse 4). Shannonhouse (3) further contends that not all of intoxicating substances lead to a negative addiction. Dependency on alcohol may lead one to alter behavior negatively ad engage in criminal activities as alcohol “robs a man his self possession” (4).
However, there are other substances such as opium that invigorates in a man the essence of order civility and harmony. As such intake of certain substances such as opium, when done in the right manner thus is a sense of reducing the chances of occurrence of crime.
Crime is a product of the society and the environment created by the society. Some of the daily societal beliefs and practices are done so repetitively that the individual becomes dependent on them and it may lead to addiction. Addiction may in effect be nudging a person towards deviant behavior.
However not all addiction is negative; it all depends on the motive and the type of substance in use. While addiction is a cause of criminal behavior, some criminal may be victims of crime as they were vulnerable to the environment or forced to commit the crime. In such case, they can be redeemed by alienating them form the influencer and thus crime is combated.
Lect Law Review. Crime. Lect Law Library. 2011. 15, March 2011
Melkonyan, Amalia. Causes of Crime. Scribd, 2011. 15, March 2011.
Shannonhouse, Rebecca. Under the Influence: The Literature of Addiction. 15, March 2011 http://www.enotalone.com/article/4888.html
Stanley, Alessandra . The Faithful Aristocrat, Seduced by a Killer. New York Times 2007. 15, March 2011